How to Tell If You’re an Option, Not a Priority in His Life
Everyone has their own unique vision of a perfect relationship, but it’s safe to say that no matter what that picture is, it includes being a top priority.
On a universal level, everyone wants to feel like they are hugely important in their partner’s life. You want to be cherished, not be relegated to an afterthought at the end of the day. You want a man who is over the moon to have found a woman like you, a man who loves you just as much as (if not more than!) you love him.
Sadly, sometimes a man just isn’t present and connecting in this way. He might be distracted by other things in his life, such as work or family problems. Maybe he secretly doesn’t see a legitimate future with you, and as a result, isn’t putting in the effort.
When this is the case, it’s crucial you spot it as early as possible. If you see the signs, don’t fall into the trap of thinking things will change. Think of your friends who have put their sweat and tears into changing a relationship like this. It never works.
Save yourself the time and emotional stress by seeing for yourself if you’re really a priority in his life. Once you are open to them, you’ll see if the signs are there.
1. You’re always trying to get his attention and affection
If your relationship feels like a part-time job, something’s definitely wrong. Do you find your mind wandering to different ways you can catch his attention or draw him in? That shouldn’t even be crossing your mind. You should feel pursued!
Affection isn’t a currency to be earned with enough hard work. You should be able to feel his passion for you, sentiments that exist just because you are the person you are. Don’t bend over backward trying to become more exciting or interesting. If he makes you feel you need to do that, there’s something essential missing from the relationship.
2. You are always working around his schedule
Speaking of busy work! Are you constantly working around his schedule to see him? Do you find yourself getting bumped for other commitments? No matter how busy he is, it’s a bad sign if you have to dance around everything else in his life. If he claims that he can’t fit you in, he’s really saying that he doesn’t want to.
We always make time for what’s important to us. If the only time you can see him is when you work around whatever else he has going on, you’re not being treated with respect. By not making any effort to work around your schedule and plan things together, he’s making a clear statement.
3. He’s flakey
Nothing’s worse than making plans with someone and knowing in the back of your mind that they’ll probably end up bailing on you. How can you even look forward to a date when you know there’s a strong chance it won’t end up happening? An unreliable man is a man who isn’t ready for a relationship.
This doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. He might just not be in the right place for a relationship, or he may not think you two have long-term potential. If that’s the case, it’s not a reflection of you. It just means you two will do better apart. You deserve to thrive in relationships that fill you with anticipation and excitement, not half-hearted attempts at meeting up.
MORE: How Men Show Their Love
4. You just don’t feel good about yourself in the relationship
Some men have a seemingly magical ability to make you feel seen and desirable. Once you’ve been on the receiving end of that feeling, you never want to go back to wondering what a guy thinks of you. And you shouldn’t! Pay attention to how you feel when you’re around him.
Sometimes a guy has a subtle way of making you feel insecure. He might not even mean to do it, but you’ll find your self-confidence wavering in his presence. Maybe you start doubting the outfit you felt beautiful in earlier that day. You get down and negative on yourself. If a guy makes you feel like this, he’s not seeing you for who you are, and you deserve better.
As a side note, if you struggle deeply with insecurity, even a dutiful and caring man won’t be able to heal that for you. Make sure you aren’t waiting for a guy to give you self-esteem because that kind of assurance won’t last.
5. He’s more interested in getting physical than getting to know you
Initially, a man who’s very into you physically feels flattering. We all want to feel attractive. In reality, though, that feeling alone can feel empty pretty quickly. Once a guy makes it clear that that’s the only part of you he’s pursuing, it can end up making you feel worse than if he had shown no interest at all.
If the physical aspect of your relationship is heating up fast, see what happens when you put the brakes on. Is he still down to spend time together when you guys are simply getting to know each other through enlightening conversations? Does he want to do other things besides Netflix and chill?
6. You feel like if you stopped putting effort in, he would just fade away
Does it always fall on you to make the plans? When you text him, do his replies take forever? Regardless of how introverted a guy is, if he’s into you, he’ll put in the effort, too. You shouldn’t have to carry the team all on your own. He should come up with ideas of things you can do together, even if it’s as simple as going to a movie.
Naturally, there’s an easy way to test this. Try putting the phone down and going radio silence on him. It won’t take long to see if your relationship is completely one-sided. Hold him accountable during this experiment. For example, if he “likes” your picture on Instagram, that doesn’t count as reaching out!
7. He shuts you out
When you’re with the right person, one who values you, conversations flow. We’ve all experienced the opposite of that, where the conversation feels like pulling teeth. If that other person isn’t meeting you half-way, talking is exhausting.
Some guys are more private than others, and not everyone wants to open up right away. However, once a man decides he wants you in his life, he will absolutely start showing more vulnerability. He’ll tell you stories about his life before he met you. During the day, he’ll keep you posted on what he’s up to.
No one wants to feel like a nag, pressing someone to communicate with them. If you always reluctantly end up in that role, it’s because he’s not offering you a way out.
8. You usually initiate plans and conversations
Check your text message thread. Are you consistently the one reaching out, beginning the conversations? Are you the one who brings up every new subject or idea? It’s painful to feel like the other person wouldn’t even be talking to you if you hadn’t messaged them. A man who thinks highly of you won’t put you in that position.
Does he ever call you up unprompted and not just to return your previous call? You want to see evidence that he thinks of you without you needing to remind him of your existence.
9. He doesn’t talk to you about important life decisions
Whenever we’re faced with major life decisions, we always confide in the people closest to us. It’s comforting to know that you’re not alone in a situation. You want to have that supportive person to think out loud with. One of the many benefits of a serious relationship is having that safe person to consult with, that soul who knows your life inside out.
If he doesn’t respect you enough to include you in these conversations, that undoubtedly means he sees you as a more superficial relationship. Your conversations are likely very surface-level. If you’ve been seeing him for a while and are still assigned to this low ranking, things aren’t going to change.
10. He tells you he doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now
There are all kinds of reasons a guy might give for not being ready for a relationship. He’s overloaded at work. His life is super busy right now. It’s just not the “right time.”
Whatever reason he gives you, it’s all just code for the fact that he’s not ready for a relationship with you. Remember this isn’t something you should take personally. It just means you two aren’t right for each other and will be happier with other people.
Don’t make the tragically common mistake of thinking he’ll come around after a while. If he really cared about you, he would never risk losing you to another man. No matter how hectic his life is, if you’re the one, he’ll do whatever it takes to make it work now.
11. You’re not honest about your relationship with others
Here’s one that requires some internal searching on your part. Maybe you haven’t even thought about it yet. Take a moment to observe how you feel about your relationship with this man. Have you told your friends and family about him? If you haven’t, why not? A new relationship is something to be proud of, not to hide.
Perhaps you have told them about him, but you’ve changed a few details or left a couple of things out. There’s only one reason for that. If you feel ashamed about his lack of prioritizing you, it’s time to put yourself first and change this situation. You should be with someone who you are excited to tell your loved ones about.
12. He doesn’t remember anything significant about you
We’re not saying the guy needs to instantly remember every meaningful date in your life. Your relationship isn’t a test he needs to take notes and prepare for. But there’s no denying that we eat up information about someone we’re crushing on.
We live for the little details. It’s an opportunity to show that person they matter. For example, you might mention that Pretty Woman is your favorite movie of all time. A few nights later, you get a text that he’s watching it for the first time so he can see why you like it so much. This kind of thing indicates that he’s really listening when you speak and wants to get to know you better.
On the other end of the spectrum, the guy who keeps asking you the same questions is one to be avoided. When someone constantly forgets the information we’ve shared, we feel unimportant. A guy who prioritizes you will never make you feel that way.
13. He doesn’t take you out
What have your last few dates with this guy been like? Do you get a text at the end of the day asking if you want to come over and watch a movie? That kind of lack of initiative is insulting. If he’s really into you, he’ll take you out beyond the confines of his house. If his plans are always last minute and mostly involve you coming over, then he isn’t taking you or the relationship seriously.
He doesn’t need to plan a fairy-tale evening for every date. Sometimes, grabbing a pizza and watching a movie is the perfect night. But those times should be mixed in with outings that require actual effort.
14. He doesn’t talk about the future
It’s not always easy to bring up the future when you start dating someone. Naturally, you get nervous about coming on too strong and scaring them off. One person has to be the first to bring it up. It’s unnecessary to wait for him to be that person, but definitely examine his reaction if you’re the one who broaches the subject. If he deflects and changes the subject, that’s a transparent move. He’s indirectly telling you he doesn’t actually see a future.
Meanwhile, when a guy finds a discrete way to bring up long-term plans, it means he’s already thought about a future with you. He might be shy about it at first, but he’s revealing his hand. He cares enough about you to brave the topic and get the conversation going.
15. You can’t count on him
When a man is serious about you, you feel it through his actions. Instead of being all talk, he authentically shows up for you on a regular basis. You won’t have to doubt his dependability. No matter what happens, he’s a rock you can count on. He’ll never make you feel you’re an inconvenience.
Do you have this kind of trust in your man? Do you know with authority that you can call him up whenever you need him? If you can’t rely on him in this way, your relationship doesn’t have the foundation required to go the distance. In the back of your mind, you know he’s not in it for the long haul.
16. You can’t be your true self
Here’s another one that calls for introspection on your part. It might not seem like an obvious way to figure out if you’re a priority or not, but it really will tell you what you need to know. Are you fully comfortable being yourself around him? When you’re around him, are you instinctively owning every aspect of yourself?
Alternatively, if you notice yourself plotting to win his approval, that’s a huge warning sign. You shouldn’t have to do anything special to gain that priority treatment you desire. Besides, consciously trying to fit yourself into a certain box is exhausting. How long would you even want to keep that kind of relationship going?
Make yourself a priority by leaving the relationship for one that will make you feel the way you deserve.
I hope this article helped you better understand how your guy feels. I do want to also mention that sometimes men naturally do pull away and it’s not necessarily because he’s not interested in you. But sometimes, it is because he’s losing interest. Do you know what to do in either case? If not, read this next: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This…